Concern over piling garbage

HARARE - Harare City Council (HCC)'s environmental management committee has expressed concern at the mushrooming of refuse dumps across the city due to lack of collection in some places for nearly nine months.

The Herbert Gomba-led committee said the increase in refuse dumps was because of the non-availability of refuse bins at district offices.

Ward 14 councillor Samuel Chinyowa said suburbs have gone for the nine months without proper refuse collection.

“There are countless heaps of rubbish all over the high density suburbs and it seems like no one is going to collect the refuse. I have complained about the issue but every time I am sent to different offices to address the refuse problem,” Chinyowa said.

He added that if the rubbish is not collected, it could soon breed flies and rodents, as well as be the vehicle to spread diseases such as cholera.

Braeside and Arcadia residents have also complained that the suburb has gone for more than six weeks without refuse collection, arguing that open spaces have been converted to dumpsites.

The Environmental Management Agency (Ema) has said each local authority is encouraged to make and develop a system in line with waste management.

Ema said the waste management programme should provide mechanisms, systems and procedures for giving effect to every stakeholder’s obligations in terms of legal frameworks, local people’s norms and standards of proper waste management.

“Most cities, towns and growth points are characterised by litter and illegal solid waste dumps on street corners and along sanitary lanes. According to Practical Action Southern Africa (2006), more than 2,5 million tonnes of household and industrial waste are produced per annum in urban areas across Zimbabwe,” Ema said.

Last week, Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said Harare was shockingly dirty and polluted.

“Harare has become one of the dirtiest cities. We litter, we throw kaylites and plastics out of our car windows. Our drainages are constantly blocked by plastics.  What type of a people have we become? These plastics end up in our dams. Can you imagine raw sewer in this day and age?” she said.

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